Giant deckchair for busy roundabout?

A vision of the future? How the Heywood Roundabout could look. A vision of the future? How the Heywood Roundabout could look.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012
7:30 AM

Businessman puts forward the idea claiming it will draw people to the area.

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A vision of the future? How the Heywood Roundabout could look.A vision of the future? How the Heywood Roundabout could look.

A LOCAL businessman is hoping his vision of placing an eight-metre high giant deckchair on a busy roundabout would drive visitors to Westward Ho!

Rob Braddick, of Braddick’s Leisure, wants to place the spectacle on the A39 Heywood Roundabout, and has even offered to pay to place it there.

He was inspired after seeing a similar deckchair on Bournemouth beach and believes it would captivate visitors who might normally drive straight past Torridge’s seaside resorts on the way to Cornwall.

He said: “We could put a slogan on it saying something like ‘your holiday starts here’; too many people just drive straight past and don’t even know Westward Ho! is here.

“I don’t know how much this chair would cost me yet, but it would be all metal and secure, and it would be high enough that drivers could see under it.

“With Ilfracombe getting Damien Hirst’s statue, we need something quirky to draw people in.”

Mr Braddick has even contemplated contacting Mr Hirst to see if he would create something for the seaside town.

He said: “I’d happily give him the land if he wanted to put something in Westward Ho!

"Perhaps we could have Verity after she has given birth sat on the deckchair with a baby in her arms and the sword leaning beside her?"

Businessman Rob Braddick

“Or perhaps we could have Verity after she has given birth sat on the deckchair with a baby in her arms and the sword leaning beside her?” he added.

At Bideford Town Council’s meeting on Thursday, further suggestions were also put forward for an iconic monument on the roundabout.

Councillor Peter Christie suggested the idea of a glass lighthouse with signs pointing to Northam and Bideford.

Cllr Christie said the project could be funded using the new Town and Parish (TAP) funding made available when councils work together.

The council agreed to set up a working group with Northam Town Council to discuss the idea of placing a monument on the roundabout.

* What do you think of Mr Braddick’s deckchair idea? Write to us with your opinions at newdesk@northdevongazette.co.uk or North Devon Gazette, Unit 3, Old Station Road, Barnstaple, EX32 8PB.

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